If you have a friend or a loved one attending Army basic training at Fort Sill, then you will soon begin planning your trip to Fort Sill Army graduation. This is an exciting time not only for your trainee but for you as well. Sandboxx wants to make sure that you have the information you need to help make your planning efforts to attend your soon-to-be Soldier’s Army basic training graduation as easy as possible.
While in basic training at Fort Sill, your trainee will learn the Army Values and traditions. They will be tested emotionally and physically. But this test will prepare them for their journey in the military and
Where is Fort Sill basic training?
Fort Sill is in Southwest Oklahoma, in the valley of the Wichita Mountain range. Fort Sill is located about 90 minutes south of Oklahoma City, or as we call it “The City”, and 45 minutes north of Wichita Falls, TX.
What’s the weather like?
One thing to remember about the weather in Oklahoma is that you can experience all 4 seasons in one day. If your Soldier is lucky enough to graduate in the spring or fall, you will have mild temperatures around 80F. But be prepared for the wind. “Ooooooklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plains.” This is also our “rainy” season, make sure to have an umbrella at the ready.
If your Soldier will graduate in the summer months (May through late September), bring your sunscreen because the temperature can exceed 100F.
If you’ll be coming to Fort Sill in the winter, dress warm! The temperature can get down into the 20’s, though we do not get much snow.
What airport is closest to Fort Sill?
When flying in for the Fort Sill graduation, you have two airports to choose from:
- Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport (LAW) – 10 minutes from Bentley Gate on Sheridan Road. This gate is known more commonly as just the Sheridan Gate.
- Will Rogers World Airport (OKC) – located in Oklahoma City.
Consider the options when planning your flight to Fort Sill. While the Lawton-Ft. Sill Regional Airport is much closer, flying into that airport tends to be more expensive and only services to and from the Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport. This may add an extra stop to your itinerary.
If you are flying into Oklahoma City, Will Rogers World Airport, you will need to make transportation arrangements to drive to Fort Sill. There are lots of car rental companies located at the airport.
Sandboxx Tip: While planning your trip, Sandboxx has a Travel Team that can help arrange your flight, car rental, and hotel!
What hotels are near Fort Sill?
Lawton is our neighboring town that has approximately 31 hotels to choose from, but don’t delay booking your room as the hotels tend to fill up fast. It is very possible that there can be more than one Army Basic Training graduation happening the same day.
Any hotel you choose in Lawton will be within 20 minutes of Fort Sill (if you hit every red light).
Fort Sill Graduation Visitor Pass
There are two ways to gain access to Fort Sill.
Beginning 1 February 2019, Fort Sill began a 6-month pilot program called the Trusted Travelers Program.
This pilot program will allow anyone with a valid DoD (Department of Defense) ID card to bring up to 14 guests on to the base without having to go to the Visitor’s Center to get a pass.
Make sure the person you are relying on to help you on the base is NOT your new Soldier because you will not have immediate access to them. Also, if you are the person bringing others on to the base using the Trusted Travelers Program, you will be responsible for all the guests you bring on the base.
If you do not have someone with a valid DoD ID card you will need to obtain a Visitor’s Pass.
If you plan to get your pass when you get to Fort Sill, make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to get that. The Visitor’s Center can be pretty busy.
To obtain a visitor’s pass you must have a valid U.S. Government issued identification card. This can be a driver’s license, state issued ID card, Passport, or birth certificate. You will have to go through a background check as well.
If you have rented a car to get on Fort Sill, make sure you have your rental agreement and proof of insurance available as you are subject to vehicle inspection.
Don’t forget to bring your smile because you will be issued a visitor’s pass with your photo on it. Guard this ID closely because you must present this going through the
Don’t worry about not being able to find your way to
Fort Sill Graduation Family Day
You are not required to have tickets to attend Family Day or
What a glorious day! You will finally get to see your new Soldier for the first time in weeks! You will receive all the scheduled details such as, times and locations in your graduation packet that will be mailed to you. Generally, things will kick off between 9 and 10 a.m. where you will meet at the Battery or Company building.
Family Day is a really fun event. Your Soldier will get to show off all that they have learned such as weapons demonstrations, drill and ceremony, and physical fitness. Get your cameras ready!
After all the drills have concluded you will then receive your instructions on passes, graduation times and locations, also where your Soldier can and cannot go.
You will then be able to take your Soldier out in Lawton or stay on Fort Sill. The Soldiers usually have to sign back into their Battery around 8 p.m. Whatever you do, DON’T
Fort Sill Graduation
Graduations are held at the Cache Creek Chapel
Your new Soldier will be in full military-mode, so keep in mind that they won’t be able to socialize with you before or during the ceremony.
After the entrance of the Soldiers, they will recite the Soldiers Creed, acknowledge the distinguished guest, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and sing the Army Song, “The Army Goes Rolling Along”.
Now the exciting part, this is where each Soldier will call out their name and hometown as they walk across the stage. The Battery Commander will then speak to you and your Soldier. After this, the Soldiers will exit the ceremony.
Your Soldier will receive instructions on their next steps. Your Soldier may receive a pass to spend the day with you or be instructed to report for AIT.
AIT, or Advanced Individual Training, is where your Soldier will learn their jobs, called their MOS (military occupational specialty). If your Soldier is a 13 or 14 Mike, they will stay at Fort Sill for this training. This is where your Soldier learn why Field Artillery is known as “King of the Battle”.
If your Soldier is a 13 or 14 Mike and is instructed to report to AIT, immediately following graduation, you will find out if they will be permitted to take a pass for the weekend.
Be patient, as it can take some time for your Soldier to complete their in-processing. You will have to attend a briefing that will give you instructions on a pass and what
If your Soldier is not attending AIT at Fort Sill, they should be allowed to spend the day with you before reporting back to Fort Sill to receive their next duty assignment and prepare to ship to the next location.
Fort Sill Graduation Live Stream
Fort Sill has you covered! You can watch the graduation ceremonies live.
Fort Sill Graduation Tips
- Try to remember to walk on your Soldier’s left side. Your Soldier is required to salute an often and quickly with their right hand. Walking on the right side can cause your Soldier to accidentally bump you.
- You are representing your Soldier. Conduct is key, you surely do not want to embarrass your Soldier or possibly get them into trouble.
- In the
militaryyou learn to “hurry up and wait”. The Army works on its own schedule and schedules are always subject to change.
- Rules are strictly enforced! Be mindful not to encourage your new Soldier to break any rules. Always respect post regulations (your Soldier will help you out with this).
- While there is no specific dress code, you want to dress in something nice but comfortable (see tip 2). Heels are not recommended because the parade field is not “heel friendly”.
- Don’t mind the loud “booms”. As many Soldiers will tell you, “that is the sound of Freedom”. In other words, that is artillery going off on one of the ranges during field training.
- “Reveille” and “Retreat”. Reveille is played at 6am and Retreat is played at 5pm on Fort Sill. If you happen to be on post, outside, you will notice everything stops. You will hear a cannon fire signaling the beginning of the song. During this time, please stop, stand still, remove your hat, place your hand over your heart and face the Flag. If you do not see the Flag, face the direction of the music. If you happen to be driving, pull to the side of the road and do the steps listed above. Reveille is the raising of the American Flag at the beginning of the
work day. Retreatis the lowering of the American Flag at the end of the work day.
While you are waiting for this exciting to get here, don’t forget to write your trainee
If you have any questions or concerns about booking your travel to Fort Sill please contact our Travel Team.
Kathy Stovall says
How do I livestream todays graduation.
I’ve been trying to download a form to get a visitor pass. All I ever get is a 404 page. I’d like to get our pass ahead of time. Graduation is September 23
Jody Carpenter says
Our son is leaving on 8/30/21 to starting basic training. Was just wondering how far out should we make reservations for graduation?
Amanda S says
Yes I’d like to know the same for Covid are there limitations on the amount of people allowed per soldier? My son starts basic training in 3/1/21 & was also hoping for more updates on up coming graduations. Great read & looking forward to visiting in the summer!
Amanda S says
Yes I’d like to know the same for Covid are there limitations on the amount of people allowed per soldier? My son starts basic training in 3/1/21 & was also hoping for more updates on up coming graduations
Natasha Pierce says
This is very very helpful and I enjoyed reading, however, can you update to reflect Covid rules and regulations for graduation?